Tag Archives: arts

Embracing imperfections

13 May

506a2a76fb04d60a47000e15__w_530_h_530_s_fit_kleinWhat we did to pottery and ceramic ware yesterday, we can do to walls, rooms and houses today: enhance cracks, cuts, bruises and breaks by purposefully incorporating them . Olivo Barbieri’s image entitled Napoli shows this beautifully. Ironically enough Olivo’s print is worth a fair bit … as you can see on p. 216 in the issuu-based auction catalogue Italia.  Image found on FFFFOUND!; followed to ApartmentTherapy and beyond to David John’s site YouHaveBeenHereSomeTime.


Some artsy vegetables (nsfw)

28 Feb


Belgian artist Heidi Voet calls this 2010 project Fruit & Vegetables. Unlike our aesthetically challenged fruit & veg here, these are both aesthetic and perhaps challenging, through Heidi’s unique juxtaposition. A statement from her website explains “Images of naked ladies taken from Chinese magazines are combined with vegetables. The fresh vegetables visually complete the young bodies, highlighting consumption and each other’s limited preservability.”

One of the images was incorporated into a poster & invitation/booklet for her exhibition If I Was Beautiful. If I Had The Time. by Belgian graphic designer Raf van Campenhoudt. The poster was turned into a billboard in the public space during the World Expo in Shanghai, 2010. (F&V via bellemelle)


Meal packaging: Sage Jubako

23 Nov

No, no, it’s not finished yet, the topic of food carriers, of mobile food, of lunchboxes, stacked and single-story. Today’s presentation is high art.


I was working on the bento entry and came across real tiered or stacked Japanese food carriers, a bento being a “ground floor only” carrier (translate: lunchbox). The stacked food carriers are known as Sage Jubako (or just Jubako), which, I gather, translates to “nesting boxes”.


Growing up in a European culture we learned about the (European) Renaissance, specifically Italy, as a period of particular cultural blossoming and flowering. So now I discovered that these Jubako are a product of the Japanese Renaissance in the Edo Period.


Edo is the old name for Tokyo. During the Edo Period, which was around about 1603/1615-1868, depending on your source, the Japanese voluntarily isolated themselves under the shogun(s) starting with Tokugawa Ieyasu. There’s a lovely little interactive tour site here and much contextual information on the period here.


It seems, from various internet sources, not least a myriad of art galleries, museum exhibitions, antique dealers and auction houses, that the Japanese used increasing wealth and leisure time for picnic pursuits and these lovely jubako were crafted.


The portable picnic sets almost always consisted of a few small food plates, some sake bottles and stacked boxes for the food, all in a large carrier.


The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has a teachers’ resource page for Art & Design with suggestions to Design and Make a Japanese-style Container. The Metropolitan Museum has an Edo Art page here.


Looking at the art from the Edo Period, you can discover picnics – and sometimes the food carriers too! – featured fairly prominently. See works in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts here, in the Brooklyn Museum here and in the Harvard Art Museums here, also in the Japanese Art Open Database here, and in the Marquand Library of Art and Archeology here.


There’s a more modern photo set of a picnic with jubako here on Naz Sahin’s site. I’ve got the same edition of Mediaeval Cuisine of the Islamic World featured amongst the wonderful panoply of great books on her site, just recently when in Granada at the Alhambra!


And here, dear Peeps, is my most astounding gem found on the intertubes while ‘curating’ for this post: An essay on Japan’s Sustainable Society in the Edo Period !! The author is Eisuke Ishikawa, a lecturer at Musashino Art University.



Hungry City

30 Aug

What is the relationship between the urban world and the rural world and also our food? An exhibition Hungry City. Agriculture and food in contemporary art explores this question in the Berlin gallery Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien during September and October 2012 with artists from all over greater Europe and North America. The wide accompanying program of events looks to emphasize the connection between urban and rural areas and offers opportunities to visit places of food production, such as the Prinzessinnen Gärten that we mentioned here and the ecovillage Ökodorf Brodowin. You can look at programme items here.

Plastic Dogs

27 Jul

Robert Bradford: FooFoo 2Just look at them, aren’t they beautiful?! I love these. It’s the colour! I love colourful. And I think it’s the shape and form, which manage to convey the essence of the dog, which are so stunning and what makes them into successful art. Have a look at the next one, Terrierist, to see what I mean. Anyone who’s met a West Highland Terrier will recognize that little taut body and the pert eyes riveted on you.

Robert Bradford: terrierist

Besides British-born Robert Bradford, whose work these dogs are, there’s another that manages to convey the animal spirit in her work, Sayaka Kajita Ganz. While Bradford works with plastic toys, Ganz’s materials of choice are reclaimed kitchen utensils. As someone who enjoys cooking I think this is just great. Can I have these in my kitchen, perhaps? Besides the form of the animal she captures motion, wow, does she capture it. Looking at the horses below, I can feel the wind brush me by. I can feel those penguins plunge swiftly into icy waters with the bubbles streaming out behind them. You can watch a video of her working on Emergence  here, see more of her work here.

Sayaka Kajita Gans: Emergence

Sayaka Kajita Gans: Plunge

Everything you have

28 Mar

They say the average European has 10.000 things. Its pretty hard to find out who they are but according to Simplify they were statisticians at the University of Paderborn in Germany, while Revierflaneur quotes from a catalogue to an exhibition (roughly translated as Which Things Do We Need?) that travelled to about 5 German museums in the mid-nineties. Either way my immediate mental picture is me picking up each of those 10.000 things at some time during any given year, cleaning them, washing them, drying them, dusting them off, maintaining them, repairing them, […] and putting them down again somewhere. Makes me tired just to think of it. So think: Ursus Wehrli. He’s the kind of guy you want to come and sort it all out for you. I mean, look at what he does for Alphabet Noodle Soup. And if you take him to the public swimming pool… Did I mention he’s Swiss or did you guess?


Everything he has

27 Mar

Simon Evans: Everything I Have, 2008. Pen, paper, scotch tape, white out. 60 1/4 X 40 1/8 inches. Can be seen online at the representing gallery James Cohan Gallery. I first saw this over at Barbara Putman Cramer’s sustainable-foodie-design blog Living Antenna. Here’s some more detail.